U.S.-based Choice Hotels is pushing into Australia and Europe with what it claims is an attractive technology advantage -- a cloud-based property management platform.
In fact, Stephen Joyce, president and CEO of Choice, claims the company's choiceAdvantage, a Web-based central reservation system, is the only cloud-based property management system massively distributed globally.
That's the pitch that Joyce made to analysts yesterday at the Goldman Sachs Lodging, Gaming and Leisure Conference 2011 in New York City.
Choice Hotels, which is a pure-play franchisor of hotels, mostly in the moderate and budget tiers, has deployed choiceAdvantage in Australia and the UK this year, and is looking to push it into France and Germany later in 2011, Joyce says.
The system is currently used in 4,000 hotels globally, Joyce says.
"With our technology platform, if you have a connection to the Web, you have a connection to our technology platform," Joyce says.
He claims a hotel deploying choiceAdvantage may spend $10,000 to train employees compared with hotels installing other systems and paying $300,000 for servers, server cables, air-conditioning for the servers and technicians to oversee the servers.
On the technology front, Joyce says Choice also is also building technology hubs for higher levels of connectivity with all of its distribution channels, and the combination of choiceAdvantage and the hub development will improve franchisor's value proposition.
Part of that value proposition, Joyce says, is Choice's distribution clout. He says Choice regularly generates about 30% to 35% of a franchisee's business.
Choice currently franchises about 5,000 hotels in the U.S. and another 1,100 in 35 countries, including Australia, the U.K., France, Germany, Brazil and Japan.
The brands include Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Sleep Inn, Clarion, Cambria Suites, MainStay Suites, Suburban, EconoLodge, Rodeway Inn and Ascend.